Things didn’t go as planned for the Atlanta Falcons this week, but it’s not a total loss. The club finally got the decision from former Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson on Friday, but it wasn’t the one they were working passionately toward. After weeks of throwing the weight of the entire city at the Atlanta native, Watson shocked the entire NFL by choosing to double back and join the Cleveland Browns — leaving the Falcons in flux with the future of Matt Ryan. But as they sort things out at that position, the running back room is rejoicing, thanks to Cordarrelle Patterson.
The electric halfback slash wideout slash kick returner has reportedly agreed to terms on a new deal that will keep him in a Falcons uniform going forward, per NFL Network, and also removes one of the top names from the pool of free agent running backs. The seven-time All-Pro took to Twitter to celebrate in NSFW fashion, clearly excited to continue building upon his dynamic 2021 season with the club.
A former first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2013, Patterson burst out of the gate and landed first-team All-Pro honors and his first Pro Bowl nod as a rookie, and ultimately put his talents to use for the Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots and, more recently, the Chicago Bears — where he re-established himself as one of the more dynamic players in the league en route to catching the eye of the Falcons. He signed a one-year, $3 million deal in Atlanta last offseason, and then became the majority of the team’s offensive production over the course of an otherwise disappointing season for the organization.
Patterson produced 1,166 yards from scrimmage with 11 touchdowns, adding another 434 yards as a kick returner for a combined total of 1,600 all-purpose yards. He even tried his hand at quarterback on one play in particular, and even though his pass was ruled incomplete, it showed that head coach Arthur Smith views Patterson as more of a weapon than simply a running back to relegate to handoffs.
So while they missed out on Watson, the Falcons keep their biggest offensive weapon in free agency, and that counts for a lot.